free stuff if you early vote in Austin:

Independence Brewing Co. – It’s officially EARLY VOTING TIME in Texas! Come to the brewery during our weekend taproom hours, show us your voting sticker and get a Freak Power on us! Power to the freaks, y’all — Now get out there and vote already! #vote #earlyvoting #freakpower

St Elmo Brewing Company – Hey there, early voters! Swing by the brewery today and get yourself a FREE half-pint of beer! Just flash us your “I Voted” sticker and the beer is all yours! 🙌🏼🇺🇸🍻 #election2020

Still Austin Whiskey Co. – Free draft cocktail w/ “I Voted” Sticker!

Austin Eastciders Barton Springs – Through October 13-16 wear your “I Voted” sticker at the Barton Springs Location to receive a free pint free pint of cider. There is a limit to one pint per guest.

4th Tap Brewing Co-op – is giving people with a sticker a free 10 oz pour through Friday, October 16th.

Texas Saké Co – Bring in your “I Voted” sticker and receive a 1.5oz shot with any purchase between October 15th – 18th! Let’s Go Texas #vote2020#txsakeco

Easy Tiger – Swing by any Easy Tiger location for a free cookie when you present your ‘I Voted!’ sticker! Must be present to redeem offer, does not apply to Curbside or Delivery. Valid until Tuesday, November 3

Galaxy Cafe – Bring in your “I Voted sticker to any of the three locations of Galaxy Cafe (Central, Northwest, or South) anytime during early voting and they’ll give you a free small chips and queso (dine-in only).

Seoulju Korean Kitchen & Bar – The Korean spot Seoulju is giving away five free dumplings when you show them your “I Voted” sticker at their North Lamar location this week, from October 15th-18th.

Marcelino’s – Bring your “I Voted” sticker to the East Austin taqueria Marcelino’s, and they’ll give you a free breakfast taco.

El Mesón – From Oct. 13 to 15, stop by the Mexican restaurant between 4 and 8 p.m. for a free marg. (Just make sure to be wearing your “I Voted” sticker.)

Paprika ATX – Cast your ballot then get a free carnitas taco. Sounds like a win win to us.

El Chilito – Between October 13-30, show your “I Voted” sticker to receive a free regular-sized queso. If you vote by mail, you can use the promo code Queso2020 to receive your free queso on an online order.

Home Slice Pizza – From October 13 – November 3. both Home Slice Pizza locations will offer a free slice of pizza to any guest who shows up to its slice windows wearing an “I Voted” sticker.

The Soup Peddler – Show your “I Voted” sticker to receive a free 8 oz. soup. Valid at all locations.

Launderette Austin will give guests with an “I Voted” sticker a free draft beer during lunch on the next three Fridays (the 16th, 23rd, and 30th).

And lastly and bestly, from Jackie Venson:
“It’s early voting time! If you’re waiting in line to #vote in Texas, DM this (her fb not ours) page and I’ll send you my new, unreleased record, Vintage Machine, to listen to while you wait FOR FREE. I am the record label, I can do these things lol.”

Photo of Jackie by: Ismael Quintanilla III Photography

I posted this the other day on my personal Facebook, and wanted to share on here in case anyone is looking to get a COVID-19 test here in Austin and may not have the funds. This is info about a free COVID swab test I took through the City of Austin. First I will start off with the link.

Because I had to go out of state, it was advised that I get tested for COVID-19. I went on the site above, and answered the assessment and based on my responses, it told me I should get a test. You have to create an account first and then put in your personal info with assessment, and testing centers from across the area will pop up. I chose a location a few minutes from my house which happened to be at a library. I did this on Sunday July 5th, and the earliest opening they had was July 10th.

On the day of, I arrived and walked towards the main door. A man came out and handed me a tissue and told me to blow my nose and throw it away. He asked me if I had an appointment or if i was a walk in, and then invited me in and told me to walk up to the 2nd table. It was kind of set up like going to vote. I handed my ID to one of the individuals who asked for it for verification, and then after the person next to her put a nasal swab in a bag, sprayed sanitizer on my hands, and asked me to follow her to the other room. I walked into the other room and they told me to sit down, pull my mask to cover my mouth but expose my nose, and put my head back. They then performed the 10 second test and told me where to walk out (and wash my hands outside).

The process took about 2-3 mins from walking in to walking out. It also wasn’t as painful as I thought. Past flu swabs have hurt more. They said it would take 3-5 days to get results back and I got them back in 4 days, which included the weekend.

Get tested if you are not feeling well, or even if you think it’s just allergies. I suffer from allergies and a sore throat that lingers in me all year. The entire time I was at the testing site I felt safe and everyone was wearing protective gear from head to toe. I know my experience may not be the same as everyone else, but I just wanted to let everyone know there is a free option out there provided by the City of Austin, and both the time at the facility and test results did not take as long as I have heard from other places. I did not have to go to the doctor before hand or have a telemedicine appointment. I simply went to the website and filled out the questionnaire and created an account and booked an appointment. They did not ask me for payment or any personal questions at the testing site and it was as simple as just verifying my ID.

Please stay safe, wear a mask, distance socially when possible, and I hope this helps other people who are searching for low cost/no cost options.

So… my wife & I went out to eat yesterday.

It is our 11th wedding anniversary this weekend and I had talked about it to her about maybe finding a outside place in Austin on Saturday, and she did not want to go out anywhere.

Everyone knows how much of a social person I am, so this has all hit me hard. We were coming back from a funeral in Corpus and had not eaten lunch yet. I know the virus has not impacted small towns the way it has other places in Tx yet so we debated it and came up with a place we both like in Gruene, Tx., which is Cantina Del Rio (an outdoor restaurant). It was lunch on a weekday during the pandemic in a small town so we decided that would be better than trying to go out this Saturday in Austin after the bars have opened back up. We called ahead to ask important questions and everything checked out. When we arrived right away we saw the host staff and front bar staff that is outside the front all wearing mask. The restaurant is 80% under a covered outdoor type of treehouse patio, 10% inside, and 10% completely outside in the back of the place in a backyard garden. We asked to be seated in the backyard. As we walked through the restaurant and were seated, we noticed all the customers eating did not have mask on or around their necks. No customers walking in or out during our visit had mask on going In or coming out as well. However, all the servers and staff in the entire place had mask on the entire visit, except one who had it around her neck. Thankfully she didn’t wait on us. We sat in the back, and there were two other tables seated spaced out 20 feet from us. One table had about 4 people when we arrived and presents on the table. It was obviously a birthday party. Everyone was standing up and hugging each other when people would arrive. 6 people limit went over by 1 and we saw 7 people at their table but didn’t say anything. Then an 8th person showed up and shortly after they made 2 of them move to another table that was 15 feet away from that party. I don’t know if this is the new norm, and 10 years from now it will be like this. We were both nervous, but I think we figured out the perfect spot and time to celebrate a special occasion. I already know I will have a lot of friends working or going out to bars this weekend in cramped spaces, and that many of these bar may not follow established guidelines. Everyone be safe and wear mask as much as you can. If this is the new norm, we need to find ways to be in each other’s lives and still be able to safely practice social distancing with respect to each others bubbles in public spaces. We both are luckily enough to be able to work from home, and until 24 hours ago, I had not been inside a grocery store, gas station, any store in over 2 months. It is weird how so much of the world is living a regular non quarantine life out there like nothing is happening. I love all my friends and family, stay safe.

Death during Covid

Posted by Dominic M | Covid Life

I wrote this (below image) on my personal facebook on May 16th. My wifes Godmother had passed away, unrelated to Coronavirus. At the time all my friends in Austin were social distancing, but I kept seeing friends and family in my Hometown of Corpus Christi, Tx. post pictures at the beach, not social distancing, hugging each other in photo’s and at house parties. The image below was a reflection of me constantly showing my wife pictures of people not practicing safe social distancing. What I wrote are my thoughts, and mine alone.

May 16th, 2020.

“My wife has a cousin, cousins spouse, and child who went to the beach few weekends ago in Corpus Christi and have since tested positive for Covid-19. Her family asked her not to post about it online, but I’m not fb friends with any of them. Instead of asking her to post their stories to educate, warn, and ask people to stay home and protect friends and loved ones, they are embarrassed and asked for silence. This is one of many reasons and examples of how this virus is not going to end anytime soon. Silence is not the cure, and neither is gathering in public. Stay home, stay safe, wear PPE around anyone you don’t live with and help slow the spread of this virus.”

Life during Covid

Posted by Dominic M | Covid Life

I am going to write a series of short blurbs and stories about my life and the life around me. I am going to backdate a few of them based on when I posted them on my personal facebook. I will back date this one as well.


by Dominic Mondragon

Every year SXSW has many free official events that are easy to get into. I am gonna highlight some of them. Here is a link to all the official free SXSW events. In past years I recommended the free Mazda cars leaving the convention center..Mercedes-Benz  is the new sponsor so not sure if those are available. Also, all events listed in this blog are free when using the SXSW Guest Pass if you don’t have a badge. Enjoy!


Comedy banner image


One of the little known facts about SXSW is that all the Comedy shows are FREE to the public after badges/wristbands have been admitted, if the venues aren’t full. Unlike films and music showcases, Comedy doesn’t charge those without a badge. Simply line up in the “Standby” line at the venue, and 10-15 minutes before the show, you’ll find out whether or not you can get in to the show. See the complete schedule here. Your best bet to get into a show is at Esther’s Follies, since it is the larger venue…but try your luck at any show you’re interested in seeing!





One of my favorite SX events every year are the free shows at Auditorium Shores. I have seen so many great bands on this stage during SX over the last decade including Garth Brooks last year. They have made it bigger and better the last few years since The Strokes played there a few years ago and overpacked the place. Get there early so you can get a good spot. If you have a badge, you can get a free shuttle ride over to the park, and they have a private area off to the right where you can get bleacher seats and in past year free beer and Titos drinks!

Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake Presented by MGM Resorts | March 15 – 17 from 4pm-10pm (View Entry Conditions and Rules)

Thursday, March 15 | Dream Out Loud presented by Voto Latino
5:15 PM – Centavrvs
6:15 PM – El Freaky Colectivo & Friends
7:15 PM – TBA
8:30 PM – Los Lobos

Friday, March 16
6:00 PM – Caamp
6:45 PM – Albert Hammond Jr.
7:40 PM – Shakey Graves
8:45 PM – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Saturday, March 17
5:00 PM – Bidi Bidi Banda
6:00 PM – Night Drive
7:00 PM – A Giant Dog
8:00 PM – Shinyribs
9:00 PM – Roky Erickson



 is FREE and open to the public!

March 10-11. For the first time, SXSW is hosting the SXSW Wellness Expo dedicated to fueling your mind, body, and soul. Occurring over two days at the Palmer Events Center, this exhibition brings together thousands of SXSW attendees interested in healthy living and companies in the continually growing health and wellness industry. For more info visit here.


Saturday, March 10 | 11:00–6:00pm
Sunday, March 11 | 11:00–6:00pm


Palmer Events Center




FREE MOVIES during SXSW at the Long Center!

If you have never been to a movie on the long center lawn, it is a great way to spend a late afternoon in downtown Austin. Take a blanket and your favorite food and beverage and watch a movie under the stars. SXSW badges can get here by using the free shuttles from the convention center.

SX will show free movies during March 12th at 8pm presented by Cartoon Network.

For more info click here.




Basically, this is a huge poster show where you can see the world’s best poster art as well as purchase it. I have never personally purchased anything so I am not sure if you need to bring your own tubes, but I visit flatstock at least once during SX to see all the awesome artwork. For more info click here.


Thursday, March 15 | 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Friday, March 16 | 11:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 17 | 11:00am-6:00pm


Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 4, Level 1


SXSW Job Market

Now in its third year, the Job Market Stage will feature talks from industry leaders covering the latest trends, techniques and perspectives in the world of talent acquisition. For more info click here.


Saturday, March 10 | 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday, March 11 | 10:00am – 5:00pm


Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 1


General Assembly + SXSW 2018 Workshops

Join General Assembly and SXSW at the Palmer Event Center for 2 days of FREE classes on today’s hottest tech topics and desired skills. Saturday March 10 and Sunday March 11, you’ll have access to some of our most popular classes in web development, data analytics, data science, digital marketing, business development, user experience design, product management and more. You’ll learn new skills from seasoned practitioners and leave with the know-how to meet the next milestone in your professional life.

No badge or wristband needed to attend. You can sign up via this link.


March 10–11, | 11:00am–4:30pm


Palmer Events Center 2nd floor. (900 Barton Springs Road)



SXSW Marketplace brings together local Austin boutiques and hand-selected national and global brands to create a unique shopping experience at the epicenter of SXSW.

SXSW Marketplace is open to all badge types and the general public with the free SXSW Guest Pass.

More info available here.


Thursday, March 15 | 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Friday, March 16 | 11:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 17 | 11:00am – 6:00pm


Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 4, Level 1